Kuti Shack is a seafood cafe and kiosk overlooking Goolwa Beach. And the Fleurieu is lucky to have it. The diner is backed by Goolwa PipiCo and run by two local chefs with reputations that extend beyond the south coast.
From this humble dining space – it really is a shack – chef Brendan Roach (Osteria Oggi and Press* Food & Wine) is serving pipis, Coorong mulloway and mullet from local waters with produce such as saltbush and samphire foraged from the surrounding sand dunes. The chef runs Kuti Shack with Vanessa Button (ex-Bombora), a trained chef who works front-of-house.
The produce is foraged, caught or harvested by local companies including Goolwa PipiCo, Hoad Fisheries and the Ngarrindjeri-owned and -operated KutiCo. Kuti Shack also operates as a test kitchen for Stehr Group’s Kangaroo Island bluefin tuna, which is served here sashimi style with ponzu and squid ink crisp.
Kuti (meaning pipi or cockle in the local Ngarrindjeri language) have been harvested by the Ngarrindjeri for more than 10,000 years. They’re also the star of the menu, which has built a reputation for inspired dishes such as sashimi pipis with samphire and Bloody Mary sorbet; and pipis with XO sauce and crusty dunking bread. There’s also Korean fried chicken-style Coorong mulloway wings and bits (best tackled by hand); and their take on the Australian pub staple, salt and pepper squid – salt bush-crusted baby squid.
Diners can wash these dishes down with drops from Langhorne Creek, McLaren Vale and Currency Creek, including Bleasdale’s pinot gris and Lost Bouy’s grenache, as well as Coopers beers and Simple Brew Co’s Pale Ale.